Kriya Yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on meditation to aid in calming the mind and bringing you to a sense of self-realization. According to the Kriya Yoga Association of New Zealand (KYANZ), Kri means "to do," and Ya means "the soul." In Kriya Yoga, there is a strong focus on a spiritual life with God as the life force in all work you do and breaths you take. Practice Kriya Yoga regularly to garner its many benefits.
The immediate physical benefits of Kriya Yoga include an improvement in your health, even the healing of long-term physical illnesses. Kriya can help improve your physical fitness as well, through the stretching of your muscles to increase flexibility and by achieving a more flexible spine. Furthermore, this type of yoga offers immediate expansion of the lungs through breath work. Both breath work and physical postures aid in relaxing the muscles of the body to increase flexibility.
Emotional and Mental Benefits
Immediate emotional and mental benefits of Kriya Yoga include the ability to change negative emotions and thought patterns into more positive ones. This is often brought about by breath work that relaxes your body and mind. According to Mandala Yoga Ashram, Kriya Yoga can also improve your concentration in an unusual way -- by creating a calm environment in which your thoughts are free to come and go. In this manner, you are able to better identify with where your thoughts are coming from and their significance, which in turn makes you more aware.
Yoga is a spiritual practice and Kriya Yoga is no exception. With each inhalation and exhalation of breath, it is believed that the physical body becomes one with the soul to help us evolve as human, spiritual beings. An increased sense of awareness coupled with a calming state can make you more compassionate and understanding of other people as well as more gentle to yourself. You may experience an increased drive to be of service to others in life.
Kriya Yoga can unblock energies in the body, or chakras, offering immediate and long-term changes. If there is a lack of energy, focus or joy in your life, you may be experiencing blockages physically, mentally and emotionally. Kriya helps to unblock the energetic chakras by activating the kundalini, the unconscious force at the base of your spine, by detaching you from dogmas, false belief patterns and fears.
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.